Little windows of calm weather between the hectic windy stints have revealed some great fishing to those braving the chop. Most outings haven’t been dangerous, but bloody uncomfortable. The mackerel run is full swing now, and the inshore weed beds, markers and shoal patches are pretty consistent.
Berley has been effective to get a consistent bite, but there is still the odd fish showing up on the troll around birds. Pillies and fish flesh will attract sharks, so use pellets and tuna oil mix. Allow it to wash around at the back of the boat and slowly disperse the slick down current. When mackerel show up, cast lures into the berley trail, or a lightly-weighted pilly, and that should deliver some action. Several trevally species, cobia, queenfish and even schools of small nannies are up in less than three meters of water, so getting a feed is no trouble.
Small to medium wolf herring and chin rigged or skirted gar have been consistent on the Spanish mackerel. White and red head squid skirts have made a difference. Pink is a close second to ‘bling’ your bait up. The use of wire definitely drops the action, and light stainless around 18lb has had the best results. Back off the drag a little when using the light wire, as too firm a setting will pop them.
Big longtail tuna are in and tight packed bait balls on the surface are a pretty good indicator they’re around. Smallish 30gm slugs, or lightly-weighted plastics will effectively get you amongst them. A good technique is to get as close as possible, without spooking them, fire a long a cast right into the action and crank back quickly. If they go down, or you don’t have a casting outfit on board, you can troll a diver around the area to pick them up. Just stay far back from the school and drop your troll line in once you’ve passed the mass, so that your lure passes close to where you saw them. You can spend hours chasing these around with the fly rod, trying to anticipate where they come up next, and you can cover miles trying to intercept them. It’s a pretty exciting fight though, and the efforts are worth it.